Army fires first warning shots in Cairo

2011-02-02 17:58

Cairo - Egyptian troops fired warning shots at the main rally against President Hosni Mubararak in central Cairo on Wednesday in a bid to end clashes with regime supporters, an AFP correspondent reported.

"The army and the people hand in hand," the crowd shouted after dozens were injured in running battles between pro and anti-Mubarak demonstrators on Cairo's central Tahrir Square.

The army has positioned its tanks and troops around the square but this is thought to be the first time they have opened fire since they were deployed on Friday and police vanished from the capital's streets.

Earlier Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei called on the army to intervene, Al Jazeera television said.

"I ask the army to intervene to protect Egyptian lives," the station quoted him as saying, adding he said it should intervene "today" and not remain neutral.

It cited him saying he had proof those attacking anti-government protesters were police. Egypt's Interior Ministry earlier denied accusations by anti-government protesters that plain clothes police were involved.